Safe School Act makes Criminals

This is a discussion on Safe School Act makes Criminals within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Here's one that will ties a knot in my chain. True story. We are fighting this now, My son has to go to court. This ...

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    Senior Member Array DPro.40's Avatar
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    Safe School Act makes Criminals

    Here's one that will ties a knot in my chain. True story. We are fighting this now, My son has to go to court. This is a letter I sent to the Attorney General's Office to get clarification on how the Law is to be applied.

    To Whom it may Concern
    I regret having to even make contact with the Attorney General's Office as I would have anticipated common sense would be the ruling factor in my son's case in an incident at Progress South Middle School in O'Fallon Missouri.
    On Thursday April 30th,2009., my son was assaulted in the hall way of his school by another student. The events that lead up to this and the amazing outcome have me angry and bewildered.
    From talking to the 8th grade principal , Tracy Clark, there was a kid in the Cafeteria that was having interaction issues with other students and had to be reprimanded twice. I know it sounds harmless but he was running around forcing other kids to hug him. I felt at that point, Mrs. Davis , a school staff member, should have removed the kid from the other students. Under the Safe Schools act, that would have been appropriate. That was not done. The kid was allowed to go into the hall ways with the other kids where he singled out my son. My son does not know this kid. This other kid ran up behind my son and grabbed him around the waste and started hugging him and would not let go after be told to stop. My son had to forcibly push him off of him. My Son resumed walking down the hall when the kid ran up and grabbed him again. My Son again told this kid to stop and he would not and my Son had to forcible push the kid off him. Its my understanding the same hall monitor saw the incident and simply told the kid to stop as opposed to taking action. Speaking with the school now, their story changed. After the kid was pushed off and told to stop by my son twice, the kid proceed to do it a third time. My Son pushed him off again and turned to walk away and the kid struck my son in the face. My son defended himself and hit the kid in the mouth.
    The O'Fallon Missouri police were called. An Officer Spoonover attended the scene and questioned by 14 year old son with out me or my wife being present. I was called in after the fact.They then charged my son with Peace Disturbance. How does that apply? I thought he was the victim. They say this is according to the Safe School Act they have to file charges.
    My son is a 4.0 student and has never been in any trouble. I called and spoke to the school board who said the situation didn't fit the mold for the charge of fighting but, the Principal . Tracy Clark says its out of their hands and Officer Spoonover acts like he doesn't care. He has offered no information as to the proceeding despite being called twice.
    Some how, I don't think the spirit of the Safe School Act was meant to turn victims into criminals. I suspect the real issue here is the school and the cop questioned my son with out a parent being there, didn't protect my son from this kid by applying the same Safe School Act that was meant to protect him , now is being used to victimize him, by charging him with Peace Disturbance.
    What are they teaching my son here? That being a Victim is OK and that he has no right to protect himself.
    I don't believe the Officer knows his job. The definition of peace disturbance indicated malicious and willful intent. This was not the case as my son was forced into a situation where he had to defend himself because the School didn't observe the Safe School Act, the same law they attempt to hide behind now. Can you help bring common sense back into play?

    Sincerely
    DPro.40

    I hope this helps. A friend of mine who is a teacher said if your forced to defend your self, hit them where it wont make a mark. Because my son split the kids lip open and there was blood he was charged with a crime. Doesn't make sense to me. As I have always said, you want to make changes for freedom, start with the legal system.
    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
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    Member Array mengel4228's Avatar
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    Laws in school's now-a-days are crazy. I remember back in the day when two kids could settle there problems w/o Principal's and cops sticking there noses in it. My second year in HS this guy smacked his girlfriend the hallway. I just reacted by grabbing him throwing him into a locker and told him if he ever touched her again there would be problems. He swung at me, I ducted and dropped him with a quick right to the jaw. After that the the Principal said I would be facing criminal charges... I was like really now? The kid ended up saying he would not press charges because he knew he was facing 2 counts and I only had one in which I would most likely get away with self defense.
    I think they are treating children like criminals each and everyday. Teaching them things that will not help them in the future. Not standing up for your self, go tell a teacher. There's not going to be a teacher eveytime something happens, they need to be taught to depend on themselves. I may be out of the norm but If I have a child they will be taught and given permission to stand up for themselves. Regardless of what there teachers or principals tell them or threaten them with punishments. Just my 2c.

    Sorry about your situation. Glad to hear your fighting it and not bending over and taking it like most parents do. Thats why they do what they do, because good responsible parents are in the minority and if there is no one fighting a decision it will never change.

    Good Luck
    Mark
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    With all due respect, everyone has a story...
    Fighting in school is going to cost anyone involved. When someone swings back...he/she is involved...that's just the way it is.
    My own son (years ago) was taunted in school by some jerk and decided to 'finally' take care of a hands-on intimidation with a reactive punch. It cost him three days out of school, but the intimidations stopped. The principal gave him the three days, I was the school superintendent. The principal called me for a reaction (he was cautious, but fair), I told him that he needed to do whatever he did with others in the same situation.
    Knowing the situation, I asked my son if it was worth it, he said, "Most definitely, dad." I let it go.

    The only other plan of attack is to make a police report prior to taking action...which is a tough thing to do. Kids can do things before teachers and admin can stop it...no one said life was fair.
    I'm surprised that the cop would react without admin input. Our school cop works very well with school authorities, and in the rural South there is still some sense of justice for all.

    In addition, we have cameras everywhere and can bring up a hallway situation and watch it frame by frame...it clarifies most stories. Kids forget that they are there.

    We know how to keep things fair, if you know what I mean...
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    Member Array Dany's Avatar
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    In about 2 hours I'm going to graduate with a degree in history and secondary education, situations like this are so crazy we have a whole semester dedicated to School Law.

    One side would say what more can you do when these kids are harrasing you, but your going to be in trouble at the same time, it's put you in a situation for 'justice for none'
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    VIP Member Array randy7601's Avatar
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    Um, I'm going to take the contrary opinion.

    My oldest grandson is a "special needs" child. He was born with sever hydrocephalus and as a result is mentally retarded. He is also a "hugger." He's very friendly, but can be annoying.

    If someone punched my grandson in the mouth and split the lip open and there was blood because he was hugging, that would be in inappropriate response. Would I call the police? Of course not. But laws and rules are intended to protect all our rights, including the weakest of us.

    I don't know why the child in your letter was hugging, could be just a bully, but I don't think the Save School Act turned your child into a "criminal."

    (My grandson isn't in Missouri, so at least it's not the same kid!)
    Last edited by randy7601; May 9th, 2009 at 03:57 PM.
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    Senior Member Array BradyM77's Avatar
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    To the OP I hope your situation is eventually taken care of. I know when I was in school the occasional fight usually only led to a suspension. And depending on who was involved maybe not even that. Never once were the cops called.

    The teachers who pay attention know who the bullies and the victims are. They just can't or won't do anything about it without the kids reporting it.

    I've gotten in my fair share of fights and never got suspended (probably cause the one time I deserved to be suspended I was too busy with my broken ribs. I was a freshmen and a senior spit on me. I couldn't exactly let that go ).
    "I didn't do it, nobody saw me do it, you can't prove anything!" Bart Simpson

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    Distinguished Member Array Bunny's Avatar
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    Randy's post brought up my first thought, which was -- the boy who kept hugging your son before he punched your son in the mouth, is he special needs in any way? Not that it changes your son being charged, I don't agree that he should have been. I'm curious. Maybe it's an influential factor in the Principal's decision? Just wondering.
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    Distinguished Member Array Agave's Avatar
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    When I was in school a small few years ago, a "fight" was "malicious contact of two or more individuals." Once, I got hit a few time and did not return a blow because I didn't want to get punished. I got suspended for fighting. Then I figured out that it wasn't worth it. Any other time I got assaulted after that, I played. And that was when I began subscribing to the idea that 'if you are in a fair fight, your tactics suck.'
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    Senior Member Array DPro.40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny View Post
    Randy's post brought up my first thought, which was -- the boy who kept hugging your son before he punched your son in the mouth, is he special needs in any way? Not that it changes your son being charged, I don't agree that he should have been. I'm curious. Maybe it's an influential factor in the Principal's decision? Just wondering.
    The other kid is not a special needs child. I believe the issue for a 14 year old boy is the kid kept grabbing him from behind, and in front of all his friends. It was very awkward to say the least for him. Then he gets punched in the eye on top of it. It was my son who landed the blow to the mouth after the other kid hit him in the eye. It was a knee jerk reaction. I also Need to mention, I'm glad he defended himself. The other kid is the same size and age.
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    Senior Member Array DPro.40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by randy7601 View Post
    Um, I'm going to take the contrary opinion.

    My oldest grandson is a "special needs" child. He was born with sever hydrocephalus and as a result is mentally retarded. He is also a "hugger." He's very friendly, but can be annoying.

    If someone punched my grandson in the mouth because he was hugging, that would be in inappropriate response. Would I call the police? Of course not. But laws and rules are intended to protect all our rights, including the weakest of us.

    I don't know why the child in your letter was hugging, could be just a bully, but I don't think the Save School Act turned your child into a "criminal."

    (My grandson isn't in Missouri, so at least it's not the same kid!)
    Hi Randy, I respect you view point and I need to mention my son comes from better breeding than that. He would never hit a special needs child, He knows the difference in Hugs and Harassment. If He ever did, despite the situation, he would live to regret it. He is not a hater. I doubt a special needs child would need to encounter this situation at school. The supervision and care is much better. I hope no offense is taken and it not meant to be offensive but, this is not about special needs children. This is about my son being victimized at school and then by the authorities set in place to protect him.
    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
    Ronald Reagan

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    Member Array One of Many's Avatar
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    If your son can be charged with a crime, so can the other boy. He can be charged with assault and battery. Your son can claim self-defense, and the other boy can not. Your son reacted after being struck in the face, by hitting his attacker in the face. Did the school press charges against the other boy, or just against your son? I think you may have grounds for a civil suit against the school officials if your son is the only one being charged. You can press criminal charges against the other boy even if the officer on the scene did not. It sounds like you have more than enough witnesses to establish the truth.

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    Member Array doobie's Avatar
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    My mom was a a substitute teacher a number of years ago in a gym class. at the end of the class she told the kids to put the dodge balls back on the rack. She was trying to get them all in order and one of the kids threw it right at her back and she went down on the ground. She yelled at the kid as she was falling to go to the principle office as other teachers ran over to her.

    The kids mother's response, "Oh come on, kids will be kids, but she yelled at my son, I wanted her fired." The lady tried to sue us for mental damages to her son, the school sued her for bodily injury to a teacher to recover the money they paid for the medical costs. The school ended up paying over $5 thousand in medical costs because my mom could barely walk because of however it screwed up her back.
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    POLICY DEVELOPMENT
    (§ 160.261 RSMo. Supp. 2005; § 167.161 RSMo. 2000)
    Each district must develop a written discipline policy which addresses the use of and procedures for the administration of corporal punishment, defines "acts of school violence" or "violent behavior", and includes a provision regarding weapons. "Acts of violence" or "violent behavior" is defined as "the exertion of physical force by a student with the intent to do serious bodily harm ...to another person while on school property, including a school bus in service on behalf of the district, or while involved in school activities.

    The policy must also require school administrators to report the following acts occurring on school property, on a school bus, or during school activities to law enforcement: first and second degree murder, kidnapping, first and second degree assault, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, first and second degree burglary, first degree robbery, distribution of drugs, distribution of drugs to a minor, arson, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, sexual assault, felonious restrain, property damage, the possession of a weapon, child molestation in the first degree, deviate sexual assault, sexual misconduct involving a child, or sexual abuse.


    First off get a lawyer that will work for a cut of the money that you will get from suing the school district and the police department.

    The law as stated above says that each district must write their own policy. Get a copy of it. Demand a copy of it.

    The law also spells out what must be reported to law enforcement. Fighting is NOT on there. Notice it says SERIOUS bodily harm.

    A minor CAN NOT be questioned in relation to a CRIME without 1)parent or legal guardian present 2)being Mirandized (reading of Miranda rights).

    Make sure to bring a seperate civil law suit against the officer for violating your son's rights under the 5th and 6th Amendments to the US Constitution.


    http://www.scottlawfirm.com/juvenile.htm
    If taken into custody, the juvenile has the right not to say anything until he or she speaks with a lawyer, other than identifying himself or herself by name, address and age. A juvenile can be detained up to 24 hours without a court order and longer by court order, but the parents must be notified as soon as possible.

    You will also want to read and become as familiar as you can with this - http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C211.HTM
    Last edited by Chroode; May 9th, 2009 at 04:51 PM. Reason: Added information

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    Senior Member Array DPro.40's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chroode View Post
    POLICY DEVELOPMENT
    (§ 160.261 RSMo. Supp. 2005; § 167.161 RSMo. 2000)
    Each district must develop a written discipline policy which addresses the use of and procedures for the administration of corporal punishment, defines "acts of school violence" or "violent behavior", and includes a provision regarding weapons. "Acts of violence" or "violent behavior" is defined as "the exertion of physical force by a student with the intent to do serious bodily harm ...to another person while on school property, including a school bus in service on behalf of the district, or while involved in school activities.

    The policy must also require school administrators to report the following acts occurring on school property, on a school bus, or during school activities to law enforcement: first and second degree murder, kidnapping, first and second degree assault, forcible rape, forcible sodomy, first and second degree burglary, first degree robbery, distribution of drugs, distribution of drugs to a minor, arson, voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, sexual assault, felonious restrain, property damage, the possession of a weapon, child molestation in the first degree, deviate sexual assault, sexual misconduct involving a child, or sexual abuse.


    First off get a lawyer that will work for a cut of the money that you will get from suing the school district and the police department.

    The law as stated above says that each district must write their own policy. Get a copy of it. Demand a copy of it.

    The law also spells out what must be reported to law enforcement. Fighting is NOT on there. Notice it says SERIOUS bodily harm.

    A minor CAN NOT be questioned in relation to a CRIME without 1)parent or legal guardian present 2)being Mirandized (reading of Miranda rights).

    Make sure to bring a seperate civil law suit against the officer for violating your son's rights under the 5th and 6th Amendments to the US Constitution.


    Juvenile Law
    If taken into custody, the juvenile has the right not to say anything until he or she speaks with a lawyer, other than identifying himself or herself by name, address and age. A juvenile can be detained up to 24 hours without a court order and longer by court order, but the parents must be notified as soon as possible.

    You will also want to read and become as familiar as you can with this - RSMO-Chapter 211
    Thanks Chroode. That is very helpful. I will review the juvenile and Mo.gov Statutes. It will be a Sunday morning with coffee event, I really appreciate the support everyone has extended to my family. Your good people.
    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.
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    VIP Member Array randy7601's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DPro.40 View Post
    Hi Randy, I respect you view point and I need to mention my son comes from better breeding than that. He would never hit a special needs child, He knows the difference in Hugs and Harassment. If He ever did, despite the situation, he would live to regret it. He is not a hater. I doubt a special needs child would need to encounter this situation at school. The supervision and care is much better. I hope no offense is taken and it not meant to be offensive but, this is not about special needs children. This is about my son being victimized at school and then by the authorities set in place to protect him.
    Thanks for clearing that up. No offense taken at all.
    Randy
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